Predicting Depth and Path of Subsurface Crack Propagation at Gear Tooth Flank under Cyclic Contact Loading

Document Type: Research Paper


Mechanical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


In this paper, a two-dimensional computational model is proposed for predicting the initiation position and propagation path of subsurface crack of spur gear tooth flank. In order to simulate the contact of teeth, an equivalent model of two contacting cylinders is used. The problem is assumed to be under linear elastic fracture mechanic conditions and finite element method is used for numerical study. An initial subsurface crack is considered in the model at different depths. For each position of the initial crack, moving contact loading is applied to the part and value of ∆KII is obtained for the crack tips. The position of maximum ∆KII is selected as the location of crack initiation. It is shown that the subsurface crack appears at the maximum shear stress point. The maximum tangential stress criterion is used to determine the crack growth angle. The crack is incrementally propagated until the crack tip reaches the part surface and a cavity is formed on the tooth surface. Analyzing the stress field and stress intensity factors are performed in ABAQUS software. The obtained results for the depth and shape of the spall are in good agreement with the experimental results reported in literature.


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